Justin Dorn had just crossed the finish line late Saturday morning when he plopped down on an inviting patch of grass and laid flat against his back. The newly-minted Aukeman Triathlon champion was at rest for the first time in over two hours, catching his breath from the long-distance endurance race that took him from as far north as Amalga Harbor.
Dorn’s wife, Eliza, meanwhile, was still hard at work, checking off the final miles of the running portion of the event. This was nothing new for the husband and wife duo, who have made a habit of exercising on slightly different schedules. Those are the kind of sacrifices it takes to win triathlons while raising two children.
Justin won the men’s race with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 39 seconds, while Eliza took the women’s race in 2:40:59.
“We just tag team, and we then we do a lot with the kids,” Eliza said. “We bring the kids and stick them on a paddle board and we’ll take turns swimming.”
The Dorns were among a small contingent of Aukeman-goers who competed in the long-distance course over the short-distance one. The long distance, or “Olympic distance,” included a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. The short or “sprint” distance covered about half the distance of its counterpart, and attracted about 60 of the 80 total participants.
“Most of the years I’ve done Aukeman I feel like I’m horribly under prepared,” Justin said. “I usually have only been training in one of the three events and there’s been years where I haven’t been swimming at all leading up to Aukeman. I’ve done pretty well despite pretty inadequate training. This year I really wanted to train right and give it a go.”
The sprint race started at 7:30 a.m. and the Olympic race started at 8:30 a.m. in Auke Lake. Participants swam a loop in the lake before mounting on bicycles at the University of Alaska Southeast. From there, they took off on an out-and-back to the Mendenhall Glacier or Amalga Harbor, before running an out-and-back along the Auke Lake or Brotherhood Bridge trails.
Chris Florscher came in second in the Olympic race. It was Florscher’s first Aukeman, but hardly his first triathlon, having just returned from Whistler, British Columbia, where he competed in the IRONMAN Canada. He said the Aukeman was one of the tougher ones he’s done.
“There’s some pretty punchy hills,” he said. “It kept us honest. It was pretty tough.”
Charles Waters won first place in the sprint race which saw four women — April Rezendes, Kara Hollatz, Kim Campbell and Annie Albrecht — finish in the top 10. Rezendes was third overall, Kara Hollatz took sixth, Kimberly Campbell took seventh and Annie Albrecht took 10th. All four finished the race in under 1:25:00.
It was Rezendes’ first-ever time winning the women’s race after coming in the top three for many years.
“It feels good,” she said.
For a list of the full results, go to aukemantri.com/results/.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.